Courtesy of the San Juan County Adult Detention Center
Courtesy of the San Juan County Adult Detention Center (San Juan County Adult Detention)

AZTEC — Farmington attorney Eric Morrow was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated Wednesday night after deputies said he backed into a police vehicle in his driveway.

Alcohol was not believed to be a factor but police confiscated a sample of Morrow's blood after he failed part of a field sobriety test. The blood will be tested to determine if Morrow had drugs in his system, according to court documents.

Morrow is a criminal defense attorney in Farmington.

"I am not guilty. This is a misunderstanding and a mistake," he said. "I'm innocent."

Morrow was driving a Ford Explorer on County Road 390 at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy said he saw Morrow had both Colorado and New Mexico license plates on his vehicle, according to court documents. The deputy started to follow Morrow and turned on his emergency lights and siren.

Morrow allegedly stopped in his driveway on County Road 3775.

After stopping in his driveway, Morrow allegedly backed his vehicle into the deputy's patrol car, according to court documents.

Morrow said he didn't see the deputy until he backed into the car.

Morrow performed field sobriety tests at a cement basketball court near his home. He passed an eye test but deputies said he failed two other tests, according to court documents.

A deputy said Morrow's hands were shaking and he appeared to have a dry mouth, according to court documents.

A deputy who is a trained drug-recognition expert met with Morrow at San Juan Regional Medical Center. The sheriff's office didn't release what happened during that encounter.

Morrow has no prior arrests in New Mexico, according a state court website.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said local prosecutors will ask another district attorneys office to handle the case because Morrow and local district attorneys office often try cases against each other.

William Slease, the chief disciplinary council for the New Mexico Supreme Court, said judges may also excuse themselves from criminal cases against lawyers if they have a history with the defendant.

 

Ryan Boetel covers crime and San Juan County for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and rboetel@daily-times.com. Follow him @rboetel on Twitter.